Smile Collage

deKooning collages the mouth from this Camel cigarette ad to his 1950 painting Woman.

While researching artists who use collage, I was intrigued to see how American Abstract Expressionist Willem deKooning incorporated elements from ads into his paintings. The addition of a mass-reproduced smile (from a rather grotesque cigarette ad) makes the face in the painting above a little more mask-like. The intrusion of a foreign element complicates the charming spontaneity of the figure, as realism and abstraction collide in a jarring hybrid image.

I challenged myself to make my own smile collage. This is what I came up with.

Ed McKean. Smile, 2012

















Could an abstract construction be a face? A mask? Or are the colours and forms just happy to be together? Hope this collage makes you smile.



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